Shibuya Crossing
       
     
Yasukuni Shrine
       
     
Takeshita Street
       
     
A shinto wedding at the Meiji Shrine
       
     
Studio Ghibli Museum
       
     
Fushimi Inari Taisha
       
     
Gion's Geisha District
       
     
Dotonbori
       
     
       
     
       
     
       
     
Shibuya Crossing
       
     
Shibuya Crossing

Tokyo's Shibuya Crossing is famous for its Shibuya Scramble, probably one of the busiest intersections in the entire planet. The crossing is in front of the Hachikō exit of Shibuya Station. The statue of the famous loyal dog is one of the common meeting points in the area. 

Yasukuni Shrine
       
     
Yasukuni Shrine

The Yasukuni Shrine (靖国神社 or 靖國神社)  is one of the most controversial places in Japan, primarily because it houses convicted 1068 war criminals, 14 of which are considered A-class war criminals.

The shrine was founded by Emperor Meiji in 1869 and it's a point of contention for Japan's neighbours like Korea and China- who suffered greatly from the war crimes committed in the name of the Japanese Empire up until the closing end of the last world war.

Not a popular travel destination, but we felt that we need to come and understand the importance of this shrine in international affairs and Japan's engagement with its neighbours. One of my ancestors in the Philippines was beheaded by the Kempeitai. And my country, the Philippines was devastated during the last Japanese occupation and the resulting American carpet bombing of the islands. The resulting deaths in the Philippines totalled more than the combined Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing. 

Takeshita Street
       
     
Takeshita Street

This Harajuku area shopping area is a pedestrian-only street lined with cafes and restaurants as well as fashion stores and used to be Tokyo's ground zero for counterfeit merchandise until the metropolitan government cracked down and toughened its stance. 

The street is known to be a bellweather for fads and fashion and a few are shops used to test the market.

A shinto wedding at the Meiji Shrine
       
     
A shinto wedding at the Meiji Shrine

Shintoism is the dominant religion and is indigenous to Japan. We had the privilege of witnessing this wedding at the Meiji Shrine, a shrine dedicated to the deified Emperor Meiji and his wife Empress Shoken.

Studio Ghibli Museum
       
     
Studio Ghibli Museum

Located in Mitaka, Japan, Studio Ghibli (株式会社スタジオジブリ) is best known for it's anime feature films that have garnered a worldwide following and admiration with the film Spirited Away earning $274M USD worldwide and an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film in 2003.

Founded in 1985 after the success of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, the studio is headed by the recently retired Hayao Miyazaki (director) and Isao Takahata (director) and producer Toshio Suzuki.

So instead of going to Tokyo Disneyland, we went here instead!

Fushimi Inari Taisha
       
     
Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) in Kyoto, Japan's old capital, is one of the most famous attraction of that city due to its picturesque lines of torii gates.

For more information about accommodations in Kyoto, click this link.

 

Gion's Geisha District
       
     
Gion's Geisha District

Chauffeured around, it's extremely rare to see geishas, traditional Japanese entertainers, in broad daylight in Gion in Kyoto.

Dotonbori
       
     
Dotonbori

Dotonbori is one of the main tourist attractions in Osaka, Japan. Famous for its lights - it's the hotbed for shopping and food in the city.

       
     
Tokyo, Japan

Snapshots of our brief trip to Tokyo, Japan.

       
     
Kyoto & Osaka

A quick trip around these 2 iconic cities.

       
     
Wizarding World of Harry Potter @USJ

A quick look inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.